Run Through It

My first timing chip.

I did it! After 7 weeks of training using Couch to 5K, I ran my first 5K race! Technically, I had two weeks left of training to go, but the Bay 5K for Kids came up at almost the right time.

Note: I would have been a week further in my training if I had continued the work while I was in Ireland … but I walked everywhere instead.

So how did it go? Ugh. It was rough; I can’t lie. It started out a bit like the treadmill – waiting to get up to speed. There was a good crowd ahead of us, so you start with a slow walk to the start line, then eventually you get to break into a run.

My friend N burned three CDs for me the day before, so I put them on my iPod and ran to my new running playlist, which was hugely helpful.

I have every intention of running another 5K, so I will continue my training, without question. Why? Because I walked for 30 seconds this time. After getting water at the midpoint, I couldn’t catch my breath afterward. That is my sole disappointment. (No pun intended … but it’s still kinda funny.)

I finished in 36 minutes, but my first mile was just over 10 minutes. It’s slow, but considering I couldn’t run for more than a minute at a time a couple months ago, I’m pretty happy with it.

The best part of the race? Having N there to run with me through the entire thing. She has been running for years, she’s a zillion times faster than me (which was made even more obvious when her timing chip fell off, she ran back to get it, ran ahead to put it back on, then came back to me), but she stuck with me. She was my inspiration to keep going.

The route was a bit dull, lots of doubling back on itself. Here’s the thing when I run: I don’t like coming back the same way I go out. It’s boring. But rather than pay extra money to close off streets, the race crew opted to just rope off sidewalks (which really ends up giving more money to their charity).

What I learned:
1) Don’t run in glasses. The sputtering rain made seeing next to impossible. Taking off the glasses would have totally skewed my perspective. Also, the kept sliding off my face. Next race, I will have contacts.
2) Invest in better earbuds. The ones that came with my iPhone kept falling out of my ears.
3) If you are already starting to get chafing from the armband (for your music), switch to the other arm. No amount of chafe guard will help at that point.
4) Keep walking afterward. No matter how much I wanted to just sit down, my muscles would have just seized up.

Now, once I’m able to run 3 miles at a time without feeling like I’m going to die, then I’ll join N and her Running for Brews crew once or twice a week.

Forget Meetups and other gathering sites. Running has opened me up to a whole new life and a whole new crowd. My body is changing so much week to week, and as long as I continue to watch my calories, I will continue to lose weight.

So, thanks, N, and thanks Cto5K. You are changing my life.

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